Black Friday: “We’re consumed by desire and greed”

It’s Black Friday; it’s half price; it’s the last TV in the shop and you’re not the only one who wants it. What do you do?

You fight to the death. You don’t leave that shop until you’re dragging that TV out the door with your bloodied teeth. Right?

Well the scenes of Black Friday would certainly make you think so.

It’s the latest unwelcome tradition from across the pond and apparently we’ve fallen head over heels for it. We all love a good bargain; I’ll be the first to admit that. But this. This was unbelievable. And there’s never any excuse for such barbaric behaviour.

I watched countless videos of human beings morphing into animals, and the most unevolved ones at that, brawling over electricals. Lions and cheetahs fight over the watering hole, over their next mate or over the remains of a carcass: water, life and food. We fight over TVs, mobile phones and iPads.

And what’s worse is that I wonder how many of those crazed shoppers know the real origins of ‘Black Friday’. One highly debated, but recognised understanding of the phrase is that it was once the day after Thanksgiving, when slave traders would sell off their slaves for a discount. Half-price sale doesn’t have the same meaning now does it?

Essentially, by buying into this craze, we’re advocating a racist tradition and reducing the value of a human being to the value of a trivial material possession. It’s just plain offensive.

And so what if you can’t afford a full priced TV? Who needs a TV to survive? Look around; why not have a conversation with the people sat with you instead. Watching scenes of people clambering to discounts they didn’t need, it felt like we’d taken another step towards becoming completely consumed by desire and greed and I for one refuse to follow.

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2 thoughts on “Black Friday: “We’re consumed by desire and greed”

  1. I don’t usually comment on your articles, but I felt compelled to after reading this article.
    I agree with the fact the way that people act on Black Friday is a bit extreme, and companies in the UK probably should have invested in more security to avoid the ‘barbaric’ behaviour.
    But I must ask where you found the idea that the term ‘Black Friday’ stems from the slave trade?
    I was under the impression that the term ‘black friday’ came from the Philadelphian Police, who used it to describe the heavy vehicle disruption that occurred on the day after thanksgiving.
    I also feel it is unfair of you to assume people don’t need these things. Chances are, a lot of these people havn’t invested in a new piece of technology in years, simply because they can’t afford to. And what is wrong with treating yourself every now and then, especially when it’s discounted?
    I personally feel that any deal that saves me money is a good deal, no matter where the terminology originates from.

    • Thank you for your comment. The article doesn’t say this is the definitive origin of the term but rather that it is ‘one highly debated, but common understanding’ of it. Thorough research online has shown me that there are many people who associate the term ‘Black Friday’ with slavery. I’m not saying it is necessarily right, because there seems to be much debate over it, but the fact that there is evidence of people relating it to slavery, meant I felt it was a valid point to discuss. Secondly, I’m not saying people can’t treat themselves if they want, but the way they might go about it and the behaviour many people displayed, needs to be reevaluated. I certainly can’t afford the newest technology, but I’ll make do with what I have and of course, I like to take advantage of discounts, but I don’t think there is any reason for anyone to behave like that, especially when we don’t all get so riled up about much more important things in life. I simply felt that it was time to step back and evaluate where we have ended up, fighting over mobile phones and hoovers.

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